Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Weekend of Me + Jeff

This weekend, it was all about relaxation and time with my beau and I now feel rested and so ready for this next week and a half to zip on by. Can you tell I am itching and trying to be patient over here?
To ease my worries {and nerves}, I did what any girl should do this weekend...I ate, drank, and shopped! Don't worry, I took advantage of some fabulous Memorial Day sales, and then let myself go crazy in the makeup mega that is Sephora--and once I left, was literally covered in marks all over my hands of trying out eyeshadows, eyeliners, lip glosses, and blushes--heaven on earth!
I also did some fun cooking in the kitchen. Friday night, Jeff and I stayed home and I attempted Hot Chicken and Rice Salad for the first time...really good and perfect comfort food!! Here's the recipe via Real Mom Kitchen:
Ingredients
2 cups diced cooked chicken

1 cup diced celery
2 cups cooked white rice
3/4 cup Miracle Whip
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup corn flakes
1 (4 oz) pkg slice almonds

Directions
  • In a bowl combine chicken, celery, rice, mayo, mushrooms, lemon juice, S&P, and cream of chicken soup. Mix ingredients until well combined.
  • Pour mixture into sprayed 9 x 13 inch dish and spread out evenly.
  • Combine corn flakes and butter until corn flakes are well coated with butter.
  • Spoon corn flake mixture evenly over chicken/rice mixture.
  • Place dish in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove dish from oven and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  • Place dish back into oven for 5 more minutes.
Then, I surprised him with my first homemade bundt cake that I pulled from one of my new cookbooks and it was AMAZING, yet oh so easy:
Ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions
  • Combine cake mix, applesauce, pudding, sour cream, and eggs together and beat for 3 minutes with an electric mixer
  • Spoon 1/3 of mixture into greased and floured bundt pan
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 of pecans and chocolate chips and then spoon in the rest of the cake batter mixture
  • Top with remaining pecans and chocolate chips
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes and let cool completely before taking out of pan
  • Serve with ice cream and enjoy!!
The rest of our long holiday weekend was spent wrapping up wedding items with Mom and Dad, cooking out with friends last night and indulging in some reality TV, hitting the pavement for much needed run time, finishing all my thank-you notes, and getting lots of sleep...couldn't ask for more! Now I just have to remind myself I have 5.5 days of work before a 2 week-long vacation and it can't come soon enough--woo hoo!! Happy Tuesday ;)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Home Time and Holiday Plans

Yes, you heard it right...my dear boss allowed me to work from home today, hence, so much is getting accomplished around the abode--thank the Lord I can get it all knocked out AND then let the long holiday weekend celebrations commence!!
As we speak, laundry is in the dryer, dishing are in the dishwasher, a fresh pot of coffee is being prepared, I'm working on a client event for a conference, guys from Home Depot are downstairs fixing carpet, I'm QC'ing a proposal, and I've got the iPod on in the background--multitasking at its finest friends!
I'm also receiving all these not-so-budget friendly emails showing me how each and every retailer is offering discounts and sales this weekend which is calling my name...Victoria's Secret, Old Navy, Gap, Pottery Barn--oh the list goes on and on!

This morning, Jeff and I took a little trip downtown to get our marriage license--talk about feeling real, well that summed it up for me and the "holy moly, it's getting closer" talk I keep having with myself. We're almost married!!
This long holiday weekend has much relaxation in store. On our agenda is the typical time spent at the gym, working at the house, cooking, having a fun afternoon picnic, and most of all trying to find some pool and outside time to enjoy the weather. We're so excited to not have to travel out of town {though we are jealous of certain friends venturing to the beach and the lake!} but a weekend at home sounds superb as we enter the last stretch of our engagement. I do believe The Hangover 2 will be on our to-do list and I'm excited!!
Hope you all have one fantastic--and long--weekend. OXOX

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thirsty Thursday and Beauty Must Haves!

I need Jeff and I need to venture to a Sounds baseball game this weekend so I can partake in all baseball-related food...beers, hot dogs, and ice cream in mini helmets would be lovely right about now. This is cleverly entitled Thirsty Thursday because I am thinking about the crazy week I've had and how I could use a drink {or two} to get me to Friday afternoon...I present to you some new favorites of mine--that are calorie conscious too!
Skinnygirl Margaritas--via Bethenny Frankel...love her and love her drinks!
100 calories per drink=amazing
Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail via My Recipes
125 calories per serving
Salty Chihuahua via Eating Well
188 calories per serving
Slushy Watermelon Mojitos via My Recipes
119 calories per serving

I love how I am seeing all of these blogs featuring their favorite summer beauty trends and such so I am here to offer my two cents as well on the certain items I just can't live without:
Alterna Caviar Hair Treatment--helping tame my damaged ends from all that straightening

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer...this stuff works wonders and helps to eliminate shiny skin on hot summer days
 
Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo--amazing hair color system that helps brighten your roots between colorings for us blondes
Australian Gold Sunscreen with Bronzer...gives you that glow while still protecting your skin
There you have it!! Now tell me what are some of your favorite cocktails and beauty products??
We all need suggestions for new fun!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What I'm Loving/Wedding Wednesday

I'm sorry, I saw this picture online today and thought it was hilarious so I just had to post...hehe funny stuff!
Combining two necessary things together today to kill two birds with one stone with my blogging. Genius, right? It's hump day during my last full week of work before the wedding, which is making the long awaited Memorial Day weekend seem like it's coming even more quickly--woo hoo!
Today, I am loving...
Maxi Dresses--I may or may not have already purchased 4 of these for the honeymoon...relaxing and comfortable, yet still super cute--I cannot wait to wear these!!
via Mod Cloth
Signed and Notarized Marriage Counseling...last night we had our final session with our pastor. And yes, I got a little emotional talking all about the ceremony and what's to come--it's really sinking in that in 17 days I'm going to be a Mrs!
Book Club--this has given me an excuse to read more and I am loving this time together with great girls...plus, I am hooked on our current book and can't wait to finish!
Headbands and Braids--I'm sporting new hairstyles lately to experiment and branch out a bit so today I am trying the side braid...yay for fun new summer hairdos!

And for the weekly hump-day wedding updates, I've got these little to-do's:
  • Pick up Jeff's wedding gift- he has no idea about this surprise!
  • Finalize rehearsal dinner seating chart and work on placecards
  • Get our marriage license Friday morning!
  • Print pictures for the rehearsal dinner and reception to frame
  • Final planning meeting with Mary Alice and Mom tomorrow afternoon
Sounds easy enough, right? I can't believe it's these little details that we're finalizing and to be honest, I feel very calm and collected. Mom has helped me more in this department than she'll ever realize, tackling craft projects and painting away...couldn't do it without her and it's going to be fabulous!
Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday...a little daily inspirational quote to leave you with:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bye Bye Brain Cells

Tell me you got suckered in to this season's of The Bachelorette just like I did so I can avoid the embarrassment of being a total love sap? Yep, it happened again... OK so I was in the middle of whether I liked Ashley H. during Brad's season, but I think she is adorable with her new darker hue and I think she learned a thing or two from her first stint on TV. She's got some {what seem to be} great guys vying for her attention, and some initial frontrunners in my book are: 
Ryan P--AKA Solar Man
{hot, sweet, successful, ready for commitment--sounds like a winner to me!}

William--AKA The Man Who Sells
{total hottie with an infectious smile...he's going to woo her I do believe}
Then there is weirdo Jeff {AKA Mask Man}, Bentley {sounds like a dog's name which is good because it looks like he is one}, and then Ames {AKA Overachiever/Weirdo}...yes, I'll be tuning in each and every week to see the cards unfold.

In other news, while I was perusing for fun honeymoon necessities at Victoria's Secret yesterday, I was trying on some items to which the helpful associate inquired to whether or not I had been measured recently...since losing weight I hadn't thought my bra size had changed at all, but after a little consult in the fitting room, this girl has been wearing the wrong bra size like the other 70% of women in America...oops. Today, I am all smiles in some new skivies and know I am wearing something that fits, doesn't ride up, and is actually comfortable and cute--what are the odds? Lesson here--get measured!

What's on for tonight? We're having our pastor over for dinner so we can have our last pre-wedding counseling session and then relaxing for the rest of the evening...I need to finish reading for book club, work on the endless amounts of laundry {how can 2 people rack up so much?}, watch the season finale of Pregnant in Heels, and then hit the sack early!

Back to Basics...Training Tuesday

I haven't fallen off the workout/training wagon my friends I assure you of that, however, I have gotten a bit busy with other things, though health and fitness is still super important. For this week, wanted to provide links and helpful tips to get you through summertime workout ruts and then I've included some other miscellaneous information, too!
Did your 2011 goals involve losing weight, toning up, or eating better? Check out this helpful article via Woman's Day to make your goals a reality!

Think you're doing it the right way? Read this article to brush up on 10 mistakes you are probably making that could stand in the way of reaching your potential {and P.S. I am guilty of doing some of these!}
Check out these resoures and websites to help you cook {and eat} better.

Some of my favorite workout wear I've recently purchased...yes, keeps the ladies in place and still makes you feel cute ;)
Pink Print Sports Bra via Old Navy
Color Block Compression Shorts via ON
Reebok Women's Skort via Dick's Sporting Goods

Nike Compression Tank via DSG

And here are a few tried and trusted recipes to keep you healthy, yet satisfy when you're hungry:
Hawaiian Turkey Burgers via Our Best Bites
Low Fat Baked Crab Cakes via Recipe Girl
Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers via Our Best Bites
Bobby's Lighter Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie via Paula Deen

Monday, May 23, 2011

One Tired Girl


I think I should've worked from home today to allow myself to recuperate from this weekend...it's Monday all over again, and I am already worn out.
Friday night, we tried out a new neighborhood find Rachel told us about for sushi/hibachi...Ninki Japanese Bistro, which turned out to be really good! We ordered 4 of their specialty rolls which quickly made us realize our eyes were bigger than our stomachs--some of our rolls came out on flaming plates so a big A+ for presentation in our book. Afterwards, we headed home and rented "No Strings Attached" with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher--hilariously funny date night movie...totally worth watching!
Saturday morning, I hit the gym and then headed to the parents' for an all-day wedding takeover with Mom. We left at 10AM and didn't return until 9PM so needless to say we were pooped...tackling all the essentials for the OOT bags, painting frames for the rehearsal and reception, ordering my bridal portrait canvas and frame, finalizing menu selections for the bridal brunch, and the list goes on and on. It's officially "wedding headquarters" at their house and now I think my Dad understands just how much we needed to get accomplished.
Sunday, I was back at their house for more crafting and then ran some errands around town...grocery store shopping and such, and then we had our friends Jocelyn and Nick over for a cookout! We laughed, we ate loads of yummy food, and just caught up with some good friends which is always a great way to end a weekend.

This week, my schedule is already jam packed between work and other necessaries...our final wedding counseling meeting with our pastor tomorrow, book club on Wednesday which means this girl needs to get to reading, and our final wedding planning meeting with Mary Alice on Thursday--prayers will be needed to keep my sanity for sure!
However, on a few happy notes--the new season of the The Bachelorette starts tonight and I cannot wait AND I just bought the new Lady Gaga album online for 99 cents {yes, you read that correctly}. Check out Amazon today for this AMAZING deal on the MP3 version!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Has Never Looked So Good

Oh heavens thank you for it finally being Friday...this week has drug on {and on and on} in my book and I am elated the weekend is right around the corner. I was getting anxious and counting down: 1) because work is just too much these days, and 2) because we have a nice little relaxing weekend ahead of us which rarely happens.
Last night, Jenna and I had our first encounter with Noodles and Company. Overall, for the price, I was impressed--think fast casual like Pei Wei--and the food was yummy. I had the pasta rosa and a small salad and it was $8...definitely worth sampling again!
Afterwards, I went home to get to baking. My company is having our annual almost-summer picnic at work today so I made my first attempt at Lemon Blueberry-Filled Cupcakes. A little trial and error, but this Betty Crocker pulled it off and they turned out yummy...and I know Jeff loved being the guinea pig taste-tester this go-around. This is perfect for a summertime treat! Here's the recipe:
Ingredients
1 box lemon cake mix
1 tsp lemon extract
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 can blueberry pie filling
cream cheese icing
Directions
  1. Mix cake mix, lemon extract, milk, and eggs together on medium speed until fluffy
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of cake batter in each cupcake liner. Then top with 2 tablespoons of blueberry pie filling and then fill remainder of cupcake with cake batter.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes and then let cool
  4. Frost with cream cheese icing--and as an extra addition, top with lemon peel and/or fresh blueberries
Even better, I got to use my new cupcake carrier Candice got me for a shower gift...since I am forever more baking and bringing sweet treats to parties and celebrations, this is PERFECT, not to mention it carries up to 24 cupcakes! You must run out and get one {via Macy's Martha Stewart collection}
So for this weekend, we're going to start off tonight with date night. Trying out the new sushi/japanese hibachi restaurant near our house for something low key and then taking it easy. Tomorrow morning, I'm headed to begin Operation Finalize Wedding with Mom and it'll be nonstop madness with full picture recaps to follow. Sunday we're doing our normal routine of church, working around the house and hopefully taking advantage of some good weather before having Jocelyn and Nick over for dinner to round out a weekend at home. Happy Friday friends!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What's Up World?

Is everyone else already tired of hearing all the endless reports about Arnold and his love child? Gross--I never liked him as an actor, I never understood his appeal to lead California as governor, and this new escapade with his affair just made him an official idiot in my book...oh Maria Shriver, you are ONE classy lady! Stay strong and do that Kennedy family name proud.
Do you ever get to a point where you're only eating certain foods? I am not on a diet by any means, though I am trying to eat well right now before the wedding, but everytime I leave the grocery store it seems I am stocking up on these random, but essential items:
Fiber One Honey Clusters Cereal--not sure I could live without this
Fresh Mangoes
Quaker Mini Caramel Rice Cakes
Green Grapes {and even better when you freeze them}
Whole Grain Flatbreads
Jello Temptations
{hey a girl needs dessert once in awhile!}

And speaking of food, I am getting together for dinner with this pretty lady tonight!! I cannot wait to reunite with my Jenna for some fun and girl talk...baby Ian will be making his debut in a few weeks and she is ready to meet her bundle ASAP. We're going to try out the new Noodles and Company in Green Hills and this has our names written all over it.

Also on my radar tonight is catching up with crazy Meredith Grey on TV and another installment of the Real Housewives of NY...I swear I can't seem to get enough of Bravo shows lately. All these housewives--NY, OC, and NJ as well as Rosie Pope with the lunatic pregnant ladies...I'm hooked I tell you. And please tell me you watch Andy Cohen's aftershow--I LOVE him!
  
Alright, enough of the procrastination this morning...back to the daily grind of corporate America and dreaming of the upcoming weekend!

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